As we discussed the last writing prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi, we hear some very stern words and warnings from him. Chapter two is focused again, like we saw in Ezekiel on calling out the leaders, people who have had the responsibility to teach and lead people on paths of rights, justice, and they haven’t. They’ve corrupted themselves and drawn people away from God, drawn people away from covenantal faithfulness. And Malachi is not particularly happy, and I think he’s actually channeling that God’s frustration that the leaders have caused such corruption, that the leaders have modeled for people how to be covenantly unfaithful to God, that these leaders have essentially modeled for people how to cheat on God. Verse one and now, O you priest, this commandment is for you.
If you will not hear and if you will not lay it to your heart to give glory unto my name, saith the Lord of Host, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessing. Jay, I have cursed them already. Because you do not lay it to heart, which is you need to teach the covenant path God revealed about Sinai and to subsequent prophets of how to be covenantly, faithful and loyal to God, how to live the stipulations to show that you love God by loving your neighbor and being loyal to him. Verse three behold, I will corrupt your seed and spread dumb upon your faces even the dung of your solemn feasts, and one shall take you away with it. That’s pretty tough language.
God’s saying, I don’t really care if you’re doing your holy days, your holidays and the animals that you’re sacrificing, I’m going to take the feces, and that’s going to be spear in your face, because that is how you’ve treated me. Now, God doesn’t seem to talk like that to us today, but this kind of strong language seemed to have been necessary to wake people up in the ancient world to their living reality that they had basically treated God like dung. And God’s saying, all right, here’s dung for you. And I don’t really care about all the animal sacrifices. If you cannot love your neighbor and care for them and meet their needs and forgive one another and repent and show love to me, I don’t really care how many animals you sacrifice.
And we might bring this to our day. Does it really matter how many times we go to church or to the temple if we truly don’t have the gospel message in our heart? If we cannot treat people as God would expect us to treat them, do we get A’s in the sluster kingdom because we attended church so many times or went to early morning seminary? Now, I want to be careful here. All those things are incredibly good actions, but those are not what save us.
It’s actually our ultimate choice to let what we feel and experience and learn in those experiences to change our hearts, to be more like God, to be more humble and loving and kind and to bless those around us. I could spend my entire life going to church and hear a lot of great lessons and then walk out of church and choose not to live anything that I had been taught. And God expects us to do something with religion. I think it’s interesting that we’ve been commanded to study the scriptures. In the scriptures we find the words of life, the gospel, and yet knowing the gospel is insufficient.
If I know the gospel but do not live it, what good is knowing the gospel if I don’t choose to apply the solution that I’ve been given? Why does God ask us to study the scriptures? It’s so we know the gospel. And why does God want us to know the gospel? So that we live it.
And when we live the gospel, then we have peace and happiness. The gospel is the covenantal connection, is the covenantal instructions. And if we don’t know what the covenant instructions are, we can’t live them. So it’s not just enough to know what God expects, we also have to do. And that’s what we hear here in Malachi is malachi is speaking on God’s behalf, telling these ancient Israelites they’ve missed the point.
These Israelites have felt that if they simply did the outward forms of religion, doing certain types of sacrifices, showing up to certain types of church or religious meetings, that somehow that would convey salvation to them, that somehow they get a pass from having to repent or forgive, just isn’t the case. We have to choose today to actually live the gospel and to not simply stop at studying the scriptures or only stop at studying the gospel. We have to live it. That’s ultimately what God wants for all of us. And let’s conclude here in verse 17.
Ye have worried the Lord with your words, yet ye say, wherein have we worried Him? When you say everyone that doth evil is good in the sight of the Lord and he delivered delighteth in them. Or where is the God of judgment? We follow this pattern, like we see here in verse 17, that the Lord becomes weary of us just talking about the gospel, jesus just doing it. Talking is valuable.
Doing ultimately matters far, far more for our salvation. So the invitation for all of us is what can we do today? One thing we could do today to get better at practicing living the gospel? What’s one thing we could do today to show loving, covenantal loyalty to God by being better at loving our neighbors, listening to them, blessing their lives with the resources, time, talents that God has given us? There’s something all of us can do.
It doesn’t have to be great or grand. We have been taught in the Book of Mormon by small and simple things or great things brought to pass. And if we choose on a daily basis to do something small and simple, step by step, with God holding our hand along the way, we will find ourselves landed in his solution western kingdom.
BOM-BITES Episode #699 – Malachi 4 – powered by Happy Scribe
Hey, good morning, guys. Derek here from Bomb Socks with more Bomb Bites, where we feast upon the words of Christ one bite at a time. So we are now in Malachi, chapter four, a most important chapter. I mentioned yesterday about how Jesus made sure that he taught this chapter to the knifehights. And this chapter, if you go to Malachi, chapter four, it’s only six verses. This is the end. It is the very last chapter of the Old Testament. Now, it’s not only important to Jesus. I think one of the cool things about this is you look at this whole chapter, where again, it’s preparation for the Second Coming. Behold, the day cometh shall burn as an oven, all the proud, all the due wickedly, they shall be stubble, and the day cometh shall burn them up, sayeth the Lord of hosts. And it shall leave them neither root or branch, but unto you that fear My name. We’ve talked about fear multiple times, those that love me, which this whole week is about ways that we can show Jesus Christ that we love Him. He’s shown us that he loves us. How can we show that we love Him?
Shall the Son of righteousness I like the sun there S-U-M. It also talks about the sun if you click on the footnotes. Som shall the Son of righteousness arise with healing in his wings. He shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall. That’s also referenced in one Nephi as well. And ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet. In the day that I shall do this, saith Lord of Hosts, remember ye the law of Moses, my servant, which I commanded unto him in horub for all Israel with the statutes and judgments. And then you have the two, arguably two of the most important verses in the entire Old Testament. Behold, I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. This, to my knowledge, is the only, or at least one of the only references that is mentioned in every single standard work.
You’ve got it in the Book of Mormon, where Jesus quotes it in Third Nephi. In the Doctrine and Covenants, it is mentioned numerous times from section two all the way over into section 128 and so forth. It’s mentioned all over the place in the Pearl of Great Price, you have probably one of the greatest commentaries on this particular set of verses right here. As Moroni keeps Joseph Smith up half the night quoting this, he quotes it four separate times. And I love how Joseph Smith quotes this in his history in the Pearl or Great Price, you go over to verses about 37 to 39, where Joseph refers to these verses again. Like verse 38, he quoted the fifth verse. This is Malachi. Chapter four. Behold, I will reveal unto you the priest stood by the hand of Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he also quoted the next verse differently. And he shall plant in the hearts of the children the promises made to the fathers, and the hearts of the children shall turn to the fathers. If it were not so, the whole earth would be utterly wasted at his coming.
Which is interesting because it talks about smiting the earth with the curse. And this one, it says, if this doesn’t happen, the whole purpose of the Earth is wasted. Which is interesting because this is all about family history. It’s about connecting generations, really. The purpose of this earth is to connect families. And you look and see how Satan fights that so hard. And how our world right now is attacking the family from all different directions. It’s because the purpose of the family and connecting families is what the purpose of this Earth is about. And if we don’t get that, the purpose of the earth is really wasted. When it comes right down to it, the Lord gives us opportunities to be able to be together as families. I’ve heard it referred to as his people growing machine. It’s what helps us learn how to communicate and have those relationships and have those connections on both sides of the veil. Now, I’ve mentioned this in numerous occasions, but it talks about the return of Elijah the Prophet, right? Many Jewish families, you know this. They set up a place for Elijah. They set up a place for him for food.
And and Elijah is not just coming to have a great meal with you. He is coming to restore those keys. And on April 3 of 1836, he did come and he restored those keys. Elijah did come. It was a passover. So during that time period when all these Jewish families had a place set for Elijah, he came to the Kirtland Temple and restored those keys there. With regards to that connection of families, when I was I was reading this, I kept thinking about there’s a cool little video that was done at RootsTech a couple of years ago by President Nelson. This is before he was president of the church, I think it was 2017. Shares a beautiful story with his family about a connection with the other side of the veil. And I think you’ll appreciate this.
Well, let me tell you about my grandfather, Nelson. When he was only 27 years old, he saw and conversed with his father, who died on January 27, 1891. So about three months after his death. Now, my grandfather kept a journal. I think it’s not more than half a dozen pages long, but this is the main entry in the journal. And when Father came, he said, well, my son, as I had a few spare minutes, I received permission to come and see you for a few minutes. I’m very glad to see you, Father. How do you do? I’m feeling well, my son. How are you and Mother and the boys getting along? I’m well, father. Can you see us at all times? Do you know what we are doing? No, my son, I cannot. I have something else to do. I have been assigned work that must be performed. What have you been doing since you died, Father? He looked at me and smiled. My son, I received my commission to preach the Gospel. I’ve been traveling together with Apostle Erastus Snow ever since I died. You cannot imagine, my son, how many spirits there are in the spirit world that have not yet received the Gospel.
But many are receiving it, and a great work is being accomplished. Many are anxiously looking forth to their friends who are still living to administer for them in the temples. I’ve been very busy in preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Father, is the Gospel as taught by this church true? My son, do you see that picture pointing to a picture of the First Presidency of the Church hanging on the wall? Yes, I see it. Well, just as sure as you see that picture, just as sure is the Gospel true. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has within it the power of saving every man and woman that will obey it. And in no other way can they ever obtain salvation in the kingdom of God. My son, always cling to the Gospel. Be faithful to the covenant you have made with God, my son. Be a good boy. Goodbye, now. My grandfather felt this was very sacred and he said, I write it for the benefit of my family and friends. How precious it is that he kept that record for me because I never knew him. He died when my father was 17, but he left me this precious record.
And now that I’m a general authority of the Church I assume everybody in the world is part of my family, so I share it.
I love that story. One thing to remember here, David A. Bennar said this cool quote. He said very simply the spirit of Elijah is the Holy Ghost. The spirit of Elijah will influence anyone who is involved in this work. That for a young person in the wickedness of the world in which we live today is one of the greatest safeguards against the temptations of the adversary. The spirit of Elijah will not only bless you, it will protect you. Which, again, this is the Lord’s way of showing that he loves us. One of the ways that we can show that we love him is working together and gathering Israel on both sides of the veil like President Nelson has invited us to do. Because it’s obvious he has that testimony, and he wants us to be able to have that testimony as well. And we do that to show the Lord that we love Him. Thanks for watching, thanks for subscribing, and thanks for sharing these messages. We’re so and grateful that you do that. Please check out our amazingly comfortable gospel themed email@example.com and we will see you tomorrow for one more episode. God speed.
We’ll see you. Bye.